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April 200
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Öl zuliebe
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Germany & Easter Eggs
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Leipzig 2012 Olympics

Germany Makes Most
Of Easter Eggs

Guiness Book of Records Marks Fountain Decorated with 11,108 Coloured Eggshells

Toronto – Chickens, geese and ducks supply the eggshells that, each year, decorate the public fountain in Franconia’s town of Egloffstein-Bieberbach, near Bayreuth, for the high holidays of Easter. Last year, their number came to 11,108, marking the town’s entry in the Guiness Book of Records. This year, many of the more than 180 small towns in this southern German region will try to outdo Bieberbach.

Decorating the public fountain, which is as characteristic in Germany’s old towns as the central market square and a church, has been a tradition in Franconia, in northern Bavaria, for more than 100 years. The competition among the region’s towns has visitors streaming in each year, to admire the fountains decked out with coloured eggshells, bright ribbons and spring’s fresh greens and first flowers.

The nearby town of Heiligenstadt has chosen the Easter weekend with its decorated fountain for the year’s first outdoor festival, featuring live music, dancing and a market that presents artifacts and other products made locally.

The fountains of Coburg, a half-hour’s drive north of Bamberg, serve as sets for a decorating competition among the town’s high schools, putting more than 700 students to the test. Their creations will be on display from April 6 to 27. Decorators across the country will have taken similar ideas to every retailer in town, with bakeries, pastry and chocolate shops seemingly running their own window dressing competition each Easter.

Other Easter customs in Germany include the familiar Easter egg hunt – don’t be surprised to see toddlers and grade schoolers, out with their parents on the family’s Easter walk, yelping with delight as they find the Bunny’s occasional droppings (the Bunny assisted by Mom or Dad with a pocket full of eggs, who keeps getting ahead of the group.) In their homes, the family will have painted blown-out eggshells and hung them on branches of pussy willows and forsythia. At the centre of each dining table will be a basket of hard-boiled eggs dyed in the brightest available food colours.

Outings on horseback, with riders dressed in guild uniforms or regional costumes, have a long tradition in some regions, one of the most elegant taking place in the Saxon town of Görlitz, on the Polish border, where men wear top hats and tails and horses are groomed with ribbons. Each year, more than 1600 riders take part in the Görlitz parade, which originated with the local Slavic tribe, the Sorbs, asking with their gods for successful seeding and a rich harvest later in the year.

For general information on Germany, please contact the German National Tourist Office’s toll-free number 1-877-315-6237, send an e-mail to gntony@aol.com or visit GNTO’s Web sites: www.germany-tourism.de and www.visits-to-germany.com.


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